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Comment: Re:Copyright issue? (Score 1) 87

by Half-pint HAL (#49384787) Attached to: Mario 64 Remake Receives a DMCA Complaint From Nintendo

This guy could have easily solved this DCMA problem by removing Nintendo assets and using his own.

...and designing his own level. Suddenly that word "easily" becomes inapplicable. In the days before orchestral soundtracks, gazillion-polygon reverse kinematic modelling and 4K-ready texture design (ie Mario64 era), the single biggest job in game design was making levels that played right.

Comment: Re:Copyright (Score 1) 87

by Half-pint HAL (#49384765) Attached to: Mario 64 Remake Receives a DMCA Complaint From Nintendo

Let me just check me Gog.com bookshelf...
"Broken Sword" I,II,III and IV (1996, 1997, 2003, 2006)
"Magic Carpet" (1994)
"Little Big Adventure" I (1994) and 2 (1997)
"Interstate 76" (1997)
"I have no mouth and I must scream" (1995)

I could go on, but I'll just finish with "Another World" (1991). If gog.com did MAME roms, I'd happily pay for even older stuff, like Pacman, Pengo and Mr Do.

Comment: Re: Nintendo "Corporate Social Responsibility": (Score 1) 87

by Half-pint HAL (#49384733) Attached to: Mario 64 Remake Receives a DMCA Complaint From Nintendo

Many are creating their own games but the reason for copying is: human nature and it requires less work.

It's also easier to grab attention with. In the same week that this Mario64 clone was released, numerous original indie titles were presumably released, but they didn't get the press. Shutting down this sort of thing isn't just good for Nintendo, it's good for the indie scene too.

Comment: Re:Nintendo "Corporate Social Responsibility": (Score 1) 87

by Half-pint HAL (#49384723) Attached to: Mario 64 Remake Receives a DMCA Complaint From Nintendo

Unless it's obviously taking sales away,

What you are proposing is called "shutting the door when the horse has bolted". It's like not building flood defenses "unless the river is obviously filling people's basements", or not tsunami-proofing your nuclear powerplant "unless a tsunami is obviously knocking out your backup systems and failsafes".

Nintendo's business model has incorporated nostalgia for decades. Sequels, remakes and reissues are their stock-in-trade, and most people are cool with that because they normally do a decent job of it. Allowing others to satiate consumers' nostalgia for free would be suicide to Nintendo.

No doubt some people will say "good -- it'll force them to be original for once", but that's nonsense. Nintendo are still engaged in more innovation than most publishers, who have cookie-cutter FPSes coming out of their ears.

Why no one looks for a solution outside of (a) cease and desist permanently and immediately or (b) lawsuit is beyond me.

Well first of all, a cease and desist is easier and cheaper than drawing up a legally binding contract that is guaranteed to generate no profit, and may serve to reduce sales; and secondly because they typically want the other party to cease and desist!

Comment: Re:All about protecting college business models (Score 1) 92

by Half-pint HAL (#49384647) Attached to: The End of College? Not So Fast

That's what this reaction against MOOCs is all about. Colleges have decided they don't want MOOCs after it being all the rage for 5 minutes, and they want their old conservative business model back thank you. Too late. So now people are trashing online education as "inferior" even if it isn't.

Except it is.

Comment: Re:Khan? (Score 1) 92

by Half-pint HAL (#49384635) Attached to: The End of College? Not So Fast

And Coursera lacks serious cohesion and supervision.

I'm not sure what you mean by that. Both Coursera and edX offer courses of a wide range of qualities. There are good to very good courses on both of them, there are very bland ones on both of them. Some of them even leave out the l and the n.

By cohesion, I assume he means the lack of programmed progression. So that (for example) any time you want to learn a new programming language, they start from zero explaining loops and conditionals etc, yadda yadda yadda.

Comment: Re:He's right, but the conclusion may require nuan (Score 1) 92

by Half-pint HAL (#49384629) Attached to: The End of College? Not So Fast

People are not motivated to learn something until they need to - Once they need to, they are happy to blast through it intensely - And they will put it to use right away - And their motivation comes from needs (for a raise, to be competitive, etc.)

All too often, that means "too late". My first job out of uni refused to train staff with out a "confirmed need" for a particular training course, but typically (particularly at the junior levels) you were given a new assignment at short notice, and even if you theoretically had time for the training course, they were either all booked up, or weren't running that month. This left you blasting through it unhappily as you were indeed putting it to use right away, before you were really ready to. This is how hacky, unmaintainable code gets written.

Comment: Re:My personal experience (Score 3, Insightful) 92

by Half-pint HAL (#49384589) Attached to: The End of College? Not So Fast

I've given them an honest shot, but like many I could not finish a course. I found that the lack of a face to face human communication was a huge stumbling block to success. Especially thring to learn python, math subjects, etc. It is far easier to be spoon fed knowledge and walked around complex subjects with your hand held. The main weakness in MOOCs is the lack of human interaction and instruction when you are not able to figure it out on your own.

The problem with MOOCs for programming, maths etc is that they were outdated before they began. Sitting watching a video, then doing an offline task, then submitting the task online is just not good enough. You want a tight cycle of: present new information -> demonstrate -> test -> integrate with existing knowledge -> test -> present new information....

The likes of w3schools offered this sort of environment long before the screencasters came in. Khan Academy has integrated coding environments into their programming courses, but the video is still a time sink and typically holds the student away from the code window for far too long.

Comment: Re:There are people who want to learn and not go t (Score 1) 92

by Half-pint HAL (#49384575) Attached to: The End of College? Not So Fast

And mostly everyone I've ever known who hold college degrees in high regard are not that good at much of anything.

Perhaps if I had gone to MIT or Stanford I would have a higher opinion of a college education, but that I can never know. (not that my program wasn't highly rated, just not a top 10 school in my field)

I hold my degree in high regard, but not all degrees. I was fortunate enough to be able to study CS at a truly world-class institution, where practically every other week the teaching staff were complaining about how the industry kept trying to tell them to stop teaching CS and just churn out bog-standard "coders". As a result, even after almost a decade without coding, I'm now writing software again using all sorts of computational abstractions from custom datastructures and tree-traversal to propositional logic and FP.

The job of a good teacher isn't just to make sure you learn as much as possible -- students learn (quantatively) most when they're studying stuff that's easy to learn, and that doesn't require a teacher. What the teacher should be doing is teaching the stuff that is hard to learn -- the stuff that students can't do on their own. Most MOOC courses are the former, and a tiny few are the latter, and a few more again are somewhere in between.

Comment: Re:College is way over priced (at least in the us) (Score 4, Interesting) 92

by Half-pint HAL (#49384543) Attached to: The End of College? Not So Fast

I think more places that teach free classes is a good thing... maybe it will force colleges to go to more sane levels in pricing

Most "free courses" are basically the introductory units from a university 101 class or a master's programme, and designed to advertise the school to you. Berkeley have some fantastic courses on Coursera -- they clearly put a lot of time and money into them -- but once you've signed up, you're a marketing asset for their (very) expensive accredited distance programme.

Besides, free courses tend only to be capable of teaching "basic skills" which can objectively be marked right or wrong, so "coding" but not "systems design". This means that the future for them is to remove some of the grunt-work from teaching staff, and allow them to focus on the higher-level abstractions. If there's any justice in the world, it will lead to a higher quality of education. Sadly, it is more likely to be looked at as a cost-cutting measure, and higher-level learning will be left by the wayside....

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